Cover image for The boo-boos that changed the world : a true story about an accidental invention (really!)
The boo-boos that changed the world : a true story about an accidental invention (really!)
The boo-boos that changed the world : a true story about an accidental invention (really!)
Personal Author:
Publisher Info:
Watertown, MA : Charlesbridge, [2018]
Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 29 cm
"Earle Dickson and his new bride Josephine begin their lives together. The end. (Not really. There's more.) Josephine has a proclivity for injuring herself. Earle attaches cotton to long strips of adhesive tape, telling Josephine to cut off a length when she needs one. Since Earle works as a cotton buyer at Johnson & Johnson, he shares his idea. They're a big hit. The end. (Again, not really!) After a few false starts (much like the hilarious "the end"s in this story), the Band-Aid is developed and becomes a massive hit. The end. (Really.)"-- Provided by publisher.
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Call Number
Material Type
J 617.13 WITT New or Popluar Book Juv Nonfiction

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Did you know Band-Aids were invented by accident?! And that they weren't mass-produced until the Boy Scouts gave their seal of approval?

1920s cotton buyer Earle Dickson worked for Johnson & Johnson and had a klutzy wife who often cut herself. The son of a doctor, Earle set out to create an easier way for her to bandage her injuries. Band-Aids were born, but Earle's bosses at the pharmaceutical giant weren't convinced, and it wasn't until the Boy Scouts of America tested Earle's prototype that this ubiquitous household staple was made available to the public. Soon Band-Aids were selling like hotcakes, and the rest is boo-boo history.

Author Notes

Barry Wittenstein has worked at CBS Records, CBS News, and was a web editor and writer for Major League Baseball. He is now an elementary-school substitute teacher and children's author. He is the author of Waiting for Pumpsie .

Chris is a classically-trained and versatile artist who has worked in greeting card illustration, advertising, and animation. He is currently a background artist on the animated FX spy comedy Archer. The Boo-Boos That Changed the World is Chris's first picture book. http-//

Reviews 3

School Library Journal Review

Gr 2-4-"Necessity is the mother of invention." Never is that so true than when it involves actual bodily injury! This book tells the fascinating story of the invention of the Band-Aid in the early twentieth century. Josephine Dickson was particularly accident-prone in the kitchen, inspiring her husband Earle to come up with a creative solution. The narrative moves smoothly through the Dickson's household solution to the local impact (give Band-Aids to the Boy Scouts) to the global impact (Band-Aids were given to soldiers in World War II and are now used worldwide). Instructive back matter includes additional factual information about Earle Dickson, Band-Aids, and other major medical breakthroughs. The book tells the story with a delightful sense of humor. A running "The End" gag will make kids chuckle throughout as they will think they've reached the end of the story only to find out that it is not over yet. The splendid illustrations include historical details that evoke a distinct sense of time and place. VERDICT A funny and illuminating nonfiction entry that will hold particular appeal for aspiring inventors and future medical professionals.-Alyssa -Annico, Youngstown State University, OH © Copyright 2018. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Publisher's Weekly Review

This lighthearted story about the origins of the Band-Aid suggests that necessity truly is the mother of invention. In 1920s New Jersey, Earle Dickson is concerned for his wife, Josephine: "Ouch! When she sliced and diced an onion, she sometimes sliced her finger, too." An employee at Johnson & Johnson, Dickson set out to design a protective bandage for her injuries. Hsu, a background artist for the animated TV comedy Archer, makes his picture book debut with friendly cartoons rendered in warm earth tones. After Dickson makes a Band-Aid prototype, Johnson & Johnson distributes the product to klutzes worldwide. Wittenstein, who imagines the details of the exchanges between Josephine and Earle, gracefully suggests to readers that even items as enduring as the Band-Aid started out as one individual's creative solution to a common problem. Ages 4-8. (Feb.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Booklist Review

Today, people have the luxury of covering their cuts with adhesive bandages that sparkle, glow in the dark, and look like tattoos. But how did the first Band-Aid come to be? This peppily illustrated picture book looks at the history of this now ubiquitous item, the man who invented it, and his accident-prone muse. Earle Dickson couldn't help but notice that his wife, Josephine, constantly injured herself, and bulky bandages just made things more difficult. As the son of a doctor and an employee of a company that made medical supplies, Earle had just the right background and resources to produce a eureka moment. One day in 1920, he created his first adhesive bandage by placing squares of sterile gauze on tape and covering them with crinoline. Voilà! The Band-Aid was born. Wittenstein uses conversational text to describe how the product was initially a flop, and to show the various forms the Band-Aid took before becoming the individual strip people know today. Lightly fictionalized writing is balanced by the author's note and appended time lines.--Smith, Julia Copyright 2018 Booklist



Once upon a time, in 1917 actually, a cotton buyer named Earle Dickson married his beloved, Josephine, and they lived happily ever after. THE END. Actually, that was just the beginning. The newlyweds expected to live a quiet life in New Brunswick, New Jersey. Instead, Earle and Josephine ended up changing the world, one boo-boo at a time.  You see, Josephine was accident prone. She often bumped and bruised herself while working around the house. But that was nothing compared to how often she injured herself in the kitchen. OUCH! When she sliced and diced an onion, she sometimes sliced her finger, too. BOO-HOO! When she grated cheese, she sometimes grated her knuckle. ARGH! When she lifted a hot pot off the stove, she sometimes burned her hand.  After Josephine winced in pain, she quickly grabbed a rag to stop the bleeding. But with bulky towels between her fingers, it was even harder for Josephine to hold a knife. She became even more accident prone. Impossible, you say? It's true. Josephine's klutziness had become a bloody problem!  Every night when Earle came home from work, he looked forward to talking with Josephine and eating the wonderful meal she had prepared. That was until he saw his beloved's hands. Yikes! Her cuts might get infected. He had to help his new bride. Earle's father was a doctor, so Earle knew a little bit about boo-boos and bandages. And luckily he worked for a company that manufactured hospital supplies. Earle knew there had to be a solution. But what was it? Excerpted from The Boo-Boos That Changed the World: A True Story about an Accidental Invention (Really!) by Barry Wittenstein All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.